pine also is known as poccosin pine, bay pine or black bark
pine. It grows on moist to wet sites in the Coastal Plain area,
such as poccosins, and on interstream areas with poor drainage.
It also can be found in scattered small stands throughout the
Pond pine needles grow in clusters of three (occasionally four)
and are slender, dark yellow-green and flexible. They are 6
to 8 inches long and are deciduous in their third and fourth
The broad, oval cones of the pond pine can be either pointed
or rounded at the end. They are 2 to 2 1/2 inches long and are
light yellow-brown at maturity. Scales on the cones are flattened,
and each is tipped with a slender, mostly deciduous, prickle.
Cones remain closed for 1 to 2 years after maturing and stay
on the branches for many years.
The bark of the mature pond pine is dark reddish-brown and divided
by narrow, shallow fissures into small, scaly plates. The tree
averages 40 to 70 feet in height and 1 to 2 feet in diameter.
The wood is resinous and heavy, often coarse grained and is
orange-colored, with pale yellowish sapwood. It is used for
lumber and pulpwood.
Pond pine is very resistant to fire -- even intense wildfire.
It has the ability to sprout after being burned. Its cones may
remain on the tree unopened for many years until they are heated
by fire. Fire causes the seeds to be released, allowing new
trees to grow in the burned area.
Even if its entire crown is consumed by fire, the upper stem
of the pond pine will re-sprout quickly, becoming covered with
needles that grow directly from the trunk. This feature often
makes pond pine easy to identify.